DT 25942 – Review

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25942 – Review

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

An extra enjoyment star as I liked this more than most Saturday puzzles.  The grid is sound with one small reservation – the NW and SE corners are a bit isolated, and swapping the lengths of 12 and 13 (and of course 22 and 23) would fix this.  There are no placename answers, just a couple of islands in wordplay.  There are still arbitrary people – three ladies (Anne, Crystal, Lizzie) and one gent (Gus).  There are a few tricky answer words, including 6D and 11A, so their crossing might be a tricky area.  Surface meanings are mostly good, and I only found four cases of “surface padding”.  Curiously, all the 3-letter answers have a U in the middle, and none of them have to – I don’t know whether this is significant.

Across
1 Hard and fast about Indian (6)
APACHE = Indian – H=hard in APACE=fast. “and” is surface padding, strictly.
4 Bit of a bloomer from station workers (6)
STAMEN – charade of STA.=Station.,MEN=workers. Bloomer=flower in the cryptic reading, not the mistake of the surface meaning.
8 Silent member of the family (3)
MUM – 2 definitions
10 Our coat camouflaged bird (7)
TOURACO – anag. of (our coat). The T(o)uraco is an African bird.
11 Woman taking cover for worm (7)
ANNELID – a segmented worm. ANNE=woman,LID=cover.
12 Carried to do some haymaking (5)
TOTED = carried. Subtle wordplay here: “to ted” is to dry (hay) in the sun
13 Clamour from unit during the prying (9)
NOISINESS = clamour. Unit=1=I, inside NOSINESS = (the) prying. “during” is definitely surface padding, and “the {noun}” for {noun synonym} is a bit iffy
14 Lady Georgia, with vitality forecasting (7-6)
CRYSTAL GAZING – Lady=Crystal,Georgia=GA,vitality=ZING. Worked out backwards from “must be something GAZING”, worked out in turn from checking letters.
17 Small objects that have fragmented? (4,3,6)
BITS AND PIECES – gentle CD [thanks yet again, Falcon!]
22 One litchi cultivated from the Stone Age (9)
NEOLITHIC = “from the Stone Age”, pretty obvious anagram of the (one litchi) that would be a bit mouldy by now.
23 Sauce bottle (5)
NERVE – 2 defs. Probably an old chestnut, but a good one.
24 His wail could have been in Bantu (7)
SWAHILI – anag. of (his wail). Swahili is a member of the Bantu language family so the meaning is clear, but the surface fails if you know too much – there’s no individual language with this name, so it reads like “His wail could have been in Indo-European”.
25 Old coat I replaced with articles from abroad (7)
EXOTICA = things from abroad. EX- = old,anag. of “coat I”.
26 Regularly insult crazy person (3)
NUT from iNsUlT
27 Nude startling an unfortunate governess (6)
DUENNA – a governess and chaperone for a girl in a costume drama – Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier has one. Double anagram, of “nude” then “an”. Nicely done surface and novel wordplay – good work.
28 One with foresight, Edward, to become very angry (3,3)
SEE RED = seer,Ed
Down
1 Canny having statue repaired (6)
ASTUTE – anag. of statue
2 One fat neighbour (7)
ABUTTER = neighbour (in legal language), though easy to work out. A=one,BUTTER=fat. Nicely done.
3 Tried drove, say (5)
HEARD = “herd” = drove (verb)
5 Can diminutive female find old car? (3,6)
TIN LIZZIE = old car. Can=TIN,dimin. female = LIZZIE.
6 One in Germany went to island first for plant (7)
MULLEIN – a plant. Charade of MULL=Island,EIN=One in Germany. “went to” is surface padding which spoils this one for me.
7 Completely out of medicine when covered with swellings (6)
NODOSE = “covered with swellings” = “no dose”.
8 Does it link the peaks? (8,5)
MOUNTAIN CHAIN – gentle CD
9 Earning a lot of money shipbuilding? (6,1,6)
MAKING A PACKET – trickier CD needing you to remember packet as in the good old Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
14 Island without a young animal (3)
CUB from Cub(a).
15 Having this one would doubt another’s honesty (9)
SUSPICION – very very gentle CD – millimetres away from a plain def.
16 Man only partly disgusted (3)
GUS – hidden word
18 Is nothing after the usual time put into quarantine? (7)
ISOLATE – charade of “IS,O,LATE” – a slight variation on the usual “I SO LATE”.
19 Comparatively near start of time (7)
EARLIER – another gentle CD
20 Fresh mint (6)
UNUSED – 2 definitions – mint as in coins, stamps, etc.
21 Hinder progress of Romeo, Greek character, on the road (6)
RETARD – R=Romeo,ETA=Greek character,RD=road (see ‘Phonetic Alphabets’ and ‘Greek Alphabet’ in the Mine)
23 She cried, ‘New one on order!’ (5)
NIOBE – a lady in Greek myth who turned into tearful stone on the death of her daughters and sons. Wikipedia has the full story. A stock xwd character when they run out of clues for No-OnE and NoOsE.